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Mobile Money Accounts Grew to 1.2 Billion in 2020 -GSMA

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Money Transfer - Investors King

In 2020, the number of registered mobile money accounts grew by 12.7 per cent globally, to 1.21 billion, according to the latest report from the GSM Association.

The GSMA noted that over 136 million accounts were added in the year, which exceeded last year’s forecasted growth rate by 6.4 percentage points.

In the 2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, the association revealed that transactions increased by 65 per cent and account activity grew by 17 per cent to over 300 million monthly active mobile money accounts.

Transaction values also grew across the board as more money circulated. For the first time, the global value of daily transactions exceeded $2bn dollars, and GSMA predicted it would surpass $3bn a day by the end of 2022.

The report said the growths were driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdown restrictions limited access to cash and financial institutions.

It also stated that the fastest growth was in markets where governments provided significant pandemic relief to their citizens.

As predicted in last year’s State of the Industry report, registered accounts in Africa comfortably surpassed the half billion mark at 562 million.

Sub-Saharan Africa remained at the forefront of the mobile money industry and accounted for the majority of growth. By the end of the year, there were 548 million registered accounts in the region, 159 million of which were active on a monthly basis and transaction volume of $490bn.

Although absolute growth was highest in West and East Africa, Southern Africa grew the fastest at 24 per cent year on year.

According to the report, the value of mobile money merchant payments grew by 43 per cent compared to 28 per cent in the previous year.

On average, $2.3bn in merchant payments were transacted per month in 2020, and Quick Response codes became the second-most offered channel for merchant payments after Unstructured Supplementary Service Data.

GSMA’s Chief Regulatory Officer, John Giusti, noted that mobile money was a powerful tool for expanding the financial inclusion of women in low- and middle-income countries.

He said however, across markets, women were still 33 per cent less likely than men to have a mobile money account.

“GSMA and its members are committed to closing this gender gap by addressing the barriers that prevent women from accessing and using mobile financial services,” Giusti said.

According to GSMA’s research, the mobile money ecosystem has been strengthened by an increasing number of strategic partnerships established between money transfer organisations and mobile money providers.

The research found that the pandemic gave fresh urgency to the need for regulatory change to facilitate greater digitalisation.

The report said, “In many markets, transaction limits were increased to allow more funds to flow through mobile money. Additionally, as demand rose for non-physical payments, some regulators classified mobile money agents and their supply chains as essential services.

“While some of the regulatory reforms made in response to the pandemic have been positive for customers and providers, the implementation and extension of fee waivers has had a negative impact on mobile money providers’ core revenue stream.”

GSMA emphasised that mobile money providers depended mainly on transactional revenues to sustain their business and encouraged regulators to work closely with the industry to ensure sustainability going forward.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Cellulant Gets Approval from Bank of Tanzania to Become a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP)

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Cellulant - Investors King

The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has issued an approval in principle to Cellulant Corporation to operate as a Payment Solution Service Provider in Tanzania having satisfied all the necessary requirements.

Payment Solution Service Providers make up the underlying e-Payment infrastructure in Tanzania. Banks, Online Merchants, payment processors, merchants, state governments, and consumers connect to PSSPs to meet their digital payment needs.

This approval makes Cellulant one of the top Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSP) in Tanzania endorsed by the BOT to provide digital payments solutions across the nation.

Cellulant is a leading Pan-African financial technology company providing a one-stop digital payments platform. Cellulant uses technology to connect people and their resources, making it easier to do business across Africa.

Edwin Kiiru, recently appointed Country Manager for Cellulant Tanzania, stated that this approval will enable the company to extend its payment solutions across all spectrums of Tanzania’s payments ecosystem.

Cellulant provides a single digital payments platform – named Tingg- addressing the complex payments needs of businesses. Tingg makes it easy to collect and make payments across multiple payment methods in different currencies, with the best customer experience for any business looking to digitise their payments.

‘‘Cellulant is a critical component of Africa’s Payments ecosystem and a key actor in delivering seamless payments solutions. This approval sets Cellulant into a select group of few payment aggregators that operate as PSSPs in Tanzania and will help add millions of economically active but financially excluded Tanzanians into the digital payment ecosystem.  We are bringing to Tanzania the same top-level performance and seamless payments solutions that have made Tingg, Africa’s most preferred payments platform,” added Mr Kiiru.

Founded in 2002, Cellulant provides a single digital payments platform that runs an ecosystem of consumers, retailers, merchants, banks, mobile network operators, Governments, and International Development Partners. Today, Cellulant’s payments platform hosts 154 payment options across 34 countries; and is connected to 220M consumers on a single inclusive network allowing for interoperability that has eluded numerous players in the payments space.

Cellulant has an office presence in 18 African countries.

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VISA Changes Brand Identity to Meet Broder Financial Services

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Visa Inc

Seven years after its last brand refresh, Visa, the global finance giant, is changing again. This time, its new identity, “Meet Visa”, is a nod to the company’s evolution from a cards issuer to much broader financial services and tech platform.

Developed by Visa’s global creative agency of record, Wieden & Kennedy, the refresh lands with a short film directed by Malik Hassan Sayeed, which invites the world to meet a network working for everyone.

Complementing this introductory film is a series of shorter digital films and photographic elements that showcase the breadth of the Visa network. Visa also worked with photographer Camilla Falquez and Argentinian directing team Pantera & Co – Brian Kazez, Pato Martinez and Francisco Canton – on the campaign.

The brand overhaul focuses on the areas of trust, security, acceptance and inclusion, and the firm has worked to build a new visual identity with brand design firm Mucho. The “Meet Visa” campaign shares a glimpse into the evolved visual brand identity launching later this year, featuring refreshed colours for digital impact, a custom font and an updated brand symbol.

Over the course of 2021, Visa’s new brand identity will become visible across the 200-plus countries and territories in which the company operates. In APAC, the identity will launch first in Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India before rolling out beyond. APAC marketing chief Danielle Jin told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the campaign will roll out in 18 markets worldwide by the end of the week and 40 markets by the end of the year.

“Our business has become more expansive and includes categories such as B2B payments, crypto, fintech and P2P payments,” she said. “We wanted to make sure we evolve our brands with our business.”

The campaign will be run across film, TV, digital and OOH.

“People think they ‘know’ Visa,” said Lynne Biggar, executive vice-president and global chief marketing officer. “Consumers and businesses trust the power of those four letters and see it when they open their wallet, pay a vendor, walk into a store or check out online. What they don’t see is how those four letters operate the most dynamic network of people, partnerships and products.”

Visa said its network connects 3.6 billion credentials, more than 70 million merchant locations and tens of thousands of partners while powering more than $11tn in total volume annually.

“We don’t regard ourselves as a credit card company, we are a technology payments firm,” Jin contended. Over the last five years alone, Visa has also invested $9bn in its technology backbone.

“We are capturing the bold ambition of Visa with this brand evolution as a way to express what we stand for and what we strive for,” added Biggar. “With the world reopening and with money increasingly moving in new ways, there’s no better time to showcase the work we do and the impact a purpose-driven brand with Visa’s scale can have to enable individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.”

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Over Half of Global Population to Use Digital Banking in 2026; Driven by Banking Digital Transformation

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Global Banking - Investors King

A new Juniper Research study has found that 53% of the world’s population will access digital banking services in 2026; reaching over 4.2 billion digital banking users, from 2.5 billion in 2021. The research identified increased digital transformation efforts as enabling banks to function effectively during the pandemic; justifying the benefits of digital banking and fostering further user growth.

The new research, Digital Banking: Banking-as-a-Service, Market Transformation & Forecasts 2021 2026, identified that China will be the largest digital banking market over the next 5 years; accounting for almost 25% of digital banking users in 2026. The research recommends that banks better integrate their many offerings into a single, consistent digital experience, to better compete with diverse competition.

Leading Banks Positioned in Juniper Research’s Digital Transformation Readiness Index 2021

Juniper Research’s Digital Transformation in Banking Readiness Index analysed 30 leading Tier 1 banks on their innovation in terms of digital features, investment and innovation, as well as on their agility in terms of size, profitability and brand strength, in order to evaluate their digital transformation readiness and highlight their respective positioning.

It identified the leading group of banks for digital transformation:

1. Bank of America
2. HSBC
3. JPMorgan Chase
4. BBVA
5. DBS Bank

Bank of America offers an ever-expanding digital platform, including the Erica chatbot, and has recorded significant upticks in digital usage and engagement during the pandemic. JPMorgan Chase has experimented with blockchain and made acquisitions, such as that of wealth manager Nutmeg in the UK to boost its offerings. HSBC has launched innovative new solutions, such as HSBC Kinetic for small businesses in the UK, with BBVA launching initiatives including cryptocurrency trading and DBS Bank having high levels of digital engagement.

Research co-author Damla Sat noted: ‘These banks have progressed with well-planned and executed digital transformation strategies, and other banks need to build similarly broad and revolutionary roadmaps, or be left behind by more agile competitors.’

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